Monday, November 1, 2010

No trick or treaters!

So this was our first Halloween in Europe and we were not to sure what to expect... was it going to be like Australia where the commercial aspect out ways the ritual of dressing up, decorating and having a family festive time? Yes. Same, same. Shops are filled with cobwebs and witches hats, and the only parties seemed to be promotions held by the nightclubs involving drinking cheap bubbling poison and a gooley good time. Not really appropriate for a 1 and 2 year old! We would have to make our own fun, and that we did!!

Something that was on offer in abundance were the large pumpkins for Jack o lanterns. We bought two, (presuming we would make an absolute mess of the first one), and decided to give it a go. Daughter and son both helped and this was a great family activity for kids and mum and dad, although I think parents probably took it a little bit more seriously than the little ones. The look of horror on my husbands face when I said princess could draw on the face before we cut it out... she managed all of the facial features, mostly in the right order (but I must admit I attacked the pumpkin with a scourer to remove random pen marks after). We cut off the top and the little helpers scraped out all the gooey inside with spoons, scrapers and hands. It made for a lot of mess and good fun squeezing in our hands. Prince particularly liked playing drums with the spoons and trying to eat the inside slime. Daughter said "I'll do it", hoping for the sharp paring knife, but was happy to settle for drawing, spooning, being artistic director and washing her hands in a bucket of bubbly water.

Two lovely faces were the end product, the children were very excited to have the lights out and the candles lit inside, and I must admit, loved one and I enjoyed having them lit each night once the children had gone to bed. (I think we have one night left of them before they shrivel to orange size and are carried away by fruit flies...shame.)

Long weekend here in Milan, and we were forecast rain, which set the mood for my family who are still all recovering from illnesses; (tonsillitis, colds, ear infections, conjunctivitis) each having their own, (I've always encouraged us being individuals, but all different illnesses...come on)! So home made fun was on the agenda, and knowing the Gonzalez clan, this mostly involves food! Halloween pizzas were on the menu, (trying to establish some sort of Italian Halloween) and the children made their own, resulting in daughter eating her first whole pizza since we have been here. Pita bread spread with pumpkin soup from night prior, capsicum face, olive eyes, zucchini nose and tomato smile, 'Bone appetito' (that's my skeleton Halloween joke, the longer I am a parent the cheesier my jokes become). Princess decided making her own dinner was fun, and now she will make her own dinner once a week! (Hubby makes dinner on Wednesday nights, so now I just need to work on princes cooking skills, then it's feet up for me, my job here is done!)

We only had 3 short outings this wet long weekend. The markets for a quick fruit and vegetable shop; and just enough time for daughter to tell the beggar with gold teeth "I've got no more" money left, as she gave it to the old Italian violin busker. We managed an afternoon drive to Switzerland factory shopping centre, in hope to buy some warm jackets to combat the colder days, no success... do not care if your name is Dolce and Gabbana or Prada, still not paying 600€ even though you say that is half price. We also made it to the park inbetween rain sets, enough time for a see saw, fall down ramp and a turn on the merry go round.

I was not sure if we would expect trick or treater's so I bought 5 packets of lollies which are still all sitting in the cupboard, and will no doubt stay unopened until Christmas festivities start. Not quite sure what I was thinking... it was forecast pouring rain, I live in a secure building that is only accessed via key and there are probably 4 other children in our entire building. Our children are too young to understand the concept behind halloween; but they revealed in their parents excitement of art, craft, singing, dancing and cooking together, ("Ahhhhh Boo!") Maybe it was Halloween; maybe it was the fact that we were stuck inside for most of the weekend; but it has been great family time, and I am already looking forward to Thanksgiving. Do the Italians celebrate Thanksgiving?

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